‘I think our chances are really good of getting … a statewide ban on fracking…’
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) A group of Colorado teenagers who wanted to covertly end fossil-fuel development in the state got shot down by the Colorado Supreme Court, according to an article from Natural Gas Intelligence.
On Monday, the court ruled that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission had done everything right when back in 2013 it declined to hold a hearing on a proposed rule that was filed by teenagers in Boulder.
The Boulder teens had asked the commission to consider a proposed rule that there be no new permits for oil and natural-gas drilling unless “the best available science” demonstrated that the drilling would not harm the environment.
Under the rule, no permits would be issued until it could be verified that drilling does not impair the state’s “atmosphere, water, wildlife, and land resources, and does not adversely impact human health and does not contribute to climate change.”
Obviously, such a broad rule would have effectively killed oil and natural gas exploration in the state … which is what the children had in mind.
“I think our chances are really good of getting … a statewide ban on fracking,” said Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who was 13 years old at the time.
Not surprisingly, the commission declined to adopt the rule. Afterward, the plaintiffs appealed, with support from “Our Children’s Trust,” an Oregon-based group of adult lawyers and environmental radicals that has pushed for stronger environmental protections in 44 states, mostly by using children for litigation purposes.
Remarkably, the Colorado Court of Appeals embraced plaintiffs’ arguments in a 2-1 decision, before the reversal by the Supreme Court.
The court held that Colorado law allows regulators to balance public health concerns with concerns about cost-effectiveness and feasibility.
Supporters of the natural gas industry praised the decision by the high court.
Tracee Bentley, executive director of the Colorado Petroleum Council, said: “[The Court] was right to deny a single out-of-state interest group—one that advocates for ending all energy development across the country—the ability to rewrite our state’s laws.”
“This attempt to advance their extreme agenda into other states and against other industries would have put hundreds of thousands out of work and [would] drain state and local coffers for education and other basic services.”
But the fight isn’t over yet. Colorado Democrats now control both the state legislature and the governorship. They say they’ll change the law. That means the victory by the natural-gas industry might be very short-lived indeed.